The story is seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Hazel, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at thirteen.  She is an only child with both parents still together, a relationship which she fears will deteriorate after her death.  She was near death, but thanks to a miracle drug named Phalanxifor, she can go on living (for who knows how long), and breathes with the help of an oxygen tank to which she is tethered to practically 24 hours a day.  She is exceptionally bright and perceptive of many things as well as empathetic and somewhat cynical at times.  She has a favorite book called An Imperial Affliction written by Peter Van Houten.  She goes to a cancer support group for teens, where she meets Augustus Waters, a “hot” guy.


A 17-year-old boy in remission from osteosarcoma.  He lost his right leg to the disease when he was younger.  He meets Hazel at a cancer support group in which he was accompanying his friend, Isaac, to.  Augustus has two older half-sisters from his dad’s side, and his parents are still together as well.  Before losing his leg, he was a basketball player for his high school team but lost interest in the sport.  He loves playing video games, especially one named Counterinsurgence 2: The Price of Dawn.  He also has an affinity for the books based on Max Mayhem, the main character of said game, which he encourages Hazel to read as well, in which she does.  Augustus, or Gus, has this habit of putting an unlit cigarette in his mouth, but never actually lighting it, and calling Hazel by both her first and middle name together.  He also has a crooked smile that Hazel is enamored by.


One of Hazel’s fellow cancer support group attendees, he has eye cancer.  When we are introduced to him, he has already lost one eye to cancer.  He has a girlfriend named Monica, with whom he loves kissing and saying “Always” back and forth with.  His best friend, whom he brings into the group as personal support, is Augustus.


An author who wrote Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, a story which ended mid-sentence.  The author had become a recluse since writing the novel and moved from the U.S. to the Netherlands, living his days as a drunkard.  Hazel attempts to get answers about said book via mail, and when he finally answers, he teases her with an invitation to visit him in the Netherlands as he refuses to give out the answers any other way than in person.  He has a fascination with Swedish rap.


Hazel’s mother, who spends pretty much all her time taking care of Hazel, as well as celebrating any possible non-holiday, such as “Bastille Day” and Hazel’s “half-birthdays.”


Hazel’s father, the decidedly over-emotional half of Hazel’s parental unit.


Seemingly, the only high school pre-cancer friend whom Hazel still communicates with.  Kaitlyn likes to speak in a British accent and apparently also finds Augustus good looking.


Peter van Houten’s personal assistant, who drives and accompanies Hazel and Augustus to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  She has a boyfriend named Bas.


The social worker who leads the cancer support group that Hazel and Isaac attend. He is cancer survivor, having dealt with testicular cancer and losing a testicle.  He shares his story at the beginning of every meeting and ends each meeting with reciting a list of those who died.


Augustus’ mother, described as being short, brunette, and mousy.


Augustus’ father, described as being skinny.  Upon meeting Hazel, he dubs her “Just Hazel” instead of “Hazel Grace” as is Augustus’ preferable term of endearment for her.

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